In addition to Nanny Goat Hill Lookout, Mt Gladstone Lookout is another great place to visit if you're after sweeping scenic views of rolling country hills in the township of Cooma. More specifically, it offers magnificent views across the Monaro Plains, and to the peaks of the Snowy Mountains. Mt Gladstone Lookout is situated near the entrance of Cooma, a town established in 1849 that has since nicknamed itself the 'Gateway to the Snowy Mountains'. This is due to increasing popularity with tourists as a rest stop, en route to the New South Wales snowfields during winter. Cooma is 116km south of Canberra, and 397 south-west of Sydney - it is the main town of the Monaro region. The name of this town is possibly derived from 'Coombah', an Aboriginal word that means 'big lake' or 'open country'.
This compass will tell you where Mt Gladstone Lookout is, relative to other landmarks/towns/places.
Mt Gladstone Lookout is situated on the outskirts of Cooma, conveniently located just 1km off the Snowy Mountains Highway - simply turn onto Mt Gladstone Road and follow it till you reach the top. From there, both viewing platforms (northern and southern lookouts) are easily accessed within minutes. The road up has some steep sections, but is overall a very easy drive up.
Note: The Southern Lookout is slightly further as there is a short patch of bushwalking involved, but will take no longer than 5 minutes at a leisurely pace.
After a short uphill stint on an unpaved road, there is a choice between a lower viewing platform (no steps required - wheelchair accessible) and slightly higher viewing area (a few steps required). Both offer breathtaking views of the surrounding country, so Eddy and I wouldn't be able to tell you which one is "better" - we loved the view from both!
The two options at the Northern Mt Gladstone Lookout.
The sign leading towards the Southern Lookout is slightly more conspicuous than its northern counterpart - it's situated near the shady rest area, and the sign itself is smaller too. We're so glad we didn't miss it, because the Southern Lookout grants visitors with a different set of views to the Northern Lookout, but are of course equally beautiful in their own right.
One of the differences between the Northern and Southern Lookouts is that the Southern Lookout has a wire viewing platform that allows visitors to immerse themselves into the valley - you can see all the way down (through gaps in the wire), while knowing that you're safe where you stand! In addition, the track leading to the Southern Lookout takes you through a short patch of bushland. If you wish to do some bushwalking while you're at Mt Gladstone Lookout, feel free to follow any of the paths - Mt Gladstone Lookout sits on a whopping 125 hectares of native bushland. There's plenty to explore out here!
The viewing platform at the Southern Lookout that lets visitors (safely) see all the way down.
If you're feeling peckish after a long drive, you might be able to grab a bite at Miss Heidi's Tea House located halfway up to the lookout - from reviews, it seems as though it's a great little eatery. Unfortunately, Eddy and I visited in the evening around 6pm (it doesn't get dark till late in summer!), so we were unable to try them out. What a shame, especially as we saw they had water bowls outside for the dog - they're a dog friendly tea house.
Note: Miss Heidi's Tea House's stated opening hours are 10am to 5pm everyday.
Outside Miss Heidi's Tea House on Mt Gladstone Road.
Eddy and I really enjoyed the views from both lookouts at Mt Gladstone Lookout, and appreciated how easily accessible they were, especially as we visited on a hot day! One last thing we wanted to point out is that even the view from the carpark is amazing, with the road flanked by lush trees and mountains in the faraway background...